Apparently the WH has agreed to delay their request to increase the debt limit so the Republicans will have an opportunity to grandstand and attempt to renege on their previous agreements:
When the administration announced this week that it intended to initiate the debt ceiling increase by December 30, it stumbled into problem. Congress isn’t set to return from winter recess until January 17 — beyond the 15 day window it has under the law to weigh in on the debt limit increase. Had the administration followed through, Congress — but particularly Republicans — would have had to choose between returning from recess early (and thus entering a big public fight with the administration) and abandoning the debt limit vote.
Seeking to avoid that conflict, the administration will delay the debt limit request by a few days, according to a senior administration official.
In an official statement, White House spokesman Josh Earnest says, “we have been asked by bicameral leadership of Congress to delay certification in order to give both houses time to consider when votes may occur given the current Congressional schedule. The President has agreed to Congress’ request to delay submission of the certification, which he has flexibility to do under the [debt limit law]. The Administration is in discussions with leaders in both houses to determine the best timing for submission of the certification and any subsequent votes in the two houses.”
The most important takeaway from this is the end of the article:
The substantive consequence here is that the Treasury Department will once again have to undertake some of the extraordinary measures they used in July to assure interest on the debt is paid on time.
Beyond that, it’s another illustration of the clumsy nature of the debt limit agreement, which imposed a number of substantive and procedural requirements on what was until this year a routine act of Congress.
Whenever you are confused as to why the Republicans seem to be doing something that makes no sense or is crazy, you really need to come back to this. The goal of the Republicans is not good governance. The goal of the Republicans is to make governing by a Democrat impossible and to beat Obama in 2012. It’s the only thing they really, really care about.